Press statement delivered by the EU troïka to Nepal at the end of its visit from 4-6 october 2005
This visit has been an important opportunity for the EU to assess the current situation in Nepal.
The EU has always been a friend of Nepal and its people. It is not for us to say how the political landscape in Nepal should look. That is for the people of Nepal to decide.
We have heard some clear messages.
We have heard time and again in our meetings that the Nepalese people desperately want peace. They want a proper functioning democracy with power vested in the people and the people’s representatives and where the Government is held accountable through the ballot. The Nepalese people want, indeed they have a right, to live in a society characterised by respect for human rights and the rule of law.
People want an end to the continued suffering and destruction caused by the failure of all involved to find solutions to the armed conflict and political strife in this country.
In response, we want to say frankly that we are greatly concerned that unless all involved move quickly to address the country’s problems effectively, there is a strong risk of political collapse in Nepal.
To the political parties and we have said:
We share your concern about the absence of a functioning multi-party democracy, and we see an effective multi-party democracy as the only sustainable solution to the problems of Nepal.
We support your efforts to maintain and consolidate a common platform.
We continue to urge the constitutional forces in the country to work together for the good of the country. This will require flexibility, imagination and a broad political vision.
The EU supports the right to peaceful protest.
We encourage the parties to prepare carefully for a future role in a democratically elected government, and to work to restore the faith of the electorate in the political parties, also by recognising and correcting mistakes of the past. This includes full transparency and accountability.
To His Majesty’s Government we have said:
Events in 2005 have darkened prospects for a resolution to the armed conflict and political crisis. We judge the changes of 1 February to have been self-defeating.
We believe the Maoist ceasefire, whatever the tactics behind it, may offer an opportunity for a Government response to create a much-needed truce. We believe there may be a role for third party support for brokering and monitoring the arrangements for a formal ceasefire agreement.
We note the efforts of the Civil Society Committee on Ceasefire Monitoring and hope that both the Government and the Maoists will cooperate with its work.
We believe that His Majesty’s Government should reach out to the political parties to develop a common agenda for a full return to multi-party democracy.
We urge the Government and the security forces to lead by example in respecting human rights, to tackle urgently the prevailing culture of impunity, and to use security legislation with utmost caution.
The EU believes that the way forward has to be through an inclusive and comprehensive process to achieve a negotiated peace. The EU continues to believe that such a solution will require the assistance of an independent and credible external partner and the active support of the international community.
To the Maoists, we say the following:
You should be under no illusions: the EU absolutely rejects the use of violence. We do not believe that Maoist ideology is the answer to the problems of Nepal or to the needs and wishes of the people of Nepal.
The EU has welcomed the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire. We urge you to put a definitive end to violence and acts of terrorism. Continuing extortion, abductions and other human rights abuses, as well as disruption of development work must also cease immediately.
There is no time to waste. We believe that those in Nepal who want peace must act now.